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HMQ COPS' TUNIC JOY; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: Nigel Nelson POLITICAL EDITOR

POLICE will smarten up for the Queen's visit to Parliament - by ditching their new uniforms.

Officers guarding MPs were furious when ordered to swap their traditional blue tunic and trousers for "scruffy" cut-price black cargo pants and fleeces.

But their old uniforms are to be taken out of mothballs for when the Queen attends the State opening of Parliament in May.

Police at the Palace of Westminster were furious when they were ordered to dress down. A Commons security source said: "They are very conscious of the dignity of their office. Now they are so casually dressed they look like tourists."

The Met bought the new outfits for a knock-down price of PS3million. The source said: "It looks like someone's been offered a job lot from Del Boy. Thousands of visitors who come for pomp and ceremony must be appalled to see our police officers dressed as if they are off to a football match."

But top House of Lords official Black Rod, Lieutenant-General David Leakey, said police will smarten up for the Queen. A Lords spokesman said: "Black Rod fully supports the new style uniforms.

"Traditional uniforms will still be available for State and other ceremonial occasions."

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VISITOR: The Queen
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Feb 23, 2014
Words:208
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